The essay examines the way in which the last Quality Research Assessment VQR 2004-2010 was performed in Italy. The critique of the "absolute" separation of the products of research from the processes and structures implementing them, prevents the Assessment from being a reflexive tool for the scientific community and indicators from being useful to the scientific activity. The essay incorporates specific and collective reflections taking place in the Italian Sociological Association and in other scientific associations of the Area 14 of the National University Council. Referring to these insights, the author underlines the contradictions and overlapping of the proposed evaluation criteria and the way in which they were operationalized and assembled into a single index. In this light, proposals for improvement are developed for the next Research assessment; in particular, the author suggests the use of Cantril scales and indicators constructed on the basis of "circumstantial" evidences, which will assign greater responsibility to the evaluator, who must thus document and properly explain the rationale for judgments.
Keywords: Evaluation; Evaluation of University Research; Research Assessment; Peer Evalutation